Art imitates life, as the saying goes.
British author J.K. Rowling’s latest novel, “The Ink Black Heart,” which she wrote under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, seems to mirror the novelist’s own recent experiences facing death and assault threats for her comments about the immutability of males and females.
The new book chronicles the life of Edie Ledwell, the creator of an animated YouTube series with a devout following. The fans of the show ultimately turn on Ledwell, though, after the series was criticized for being ableist, racist, and even transphobic because it featured a hermaphrodite worm.
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While the “Harry Potter” author insisted during a recent interview with British talk show host Graham Norton that any similarities between her life and the fictional life chronicled in the crime novel are coincidental, the similarities are undeniable.
In the book, Ledwell’s personal identifying information is spread across the internet as bad actors on social media websites lob death and assault threats at her. The character is later found stabbed to death.
The first part of the story — threats and cruel comments from anonymous social media accounts — has become a constant of Rowling’s real life since 2020, when she first stepped into the transgender debate.
“I had written the book before certain things happened to me online,” Rowling told Norton of the novel’s subject matter. “I said to my husband, ‘I think everyone is going to see this as a response to what happened to me,’ but it genuinely wasn’t. The first draft of the book was finished at the point certain things happened.”
Regardless of the timeline of the manuscript’s completion, one thing is undoubtedly clear: the new book — part of Rowling’s “Cormoran Strike” series — is a clear repudiation of groupthink and “social justice warriors.”
Rowling hasn’t shied away from taking strong positions on the transgender issue.
The well-known author has argued sex is unchangeable and that suggesting it is malleable is tantamount to erasing “the lived reality of women globally.” She added, “Erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
She also made fun of a column whose authors eliminated the word “women” from their writing, instead referring to females as “people who menstruate.”
Most recently, Rowling faced death threats for supporting 75-year-old author Salman Rushdie after he was attacked by a knife-wielding extremist while he was delivering a lecture in New York City.
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